Hanna Tsepesh: Hola (Hello in Spanish) Jorge Cortés! Thanks so much for accepting this interview and Welcome to THE GATES OF METAL! First of all: how are you and how are the things doing with your concerts?
Jorge Cortés: Hi Hanna and all THE GATES OF METAL readers! Well, I’m fine thanks! And very excited about our tour as we are unfolding it gig by gig. People are responding great to our call and that’s something thrilling to us. We’ve done very important gigs this year, and had the honor to play in great festivals such as Metalbats, No Hay Tregua Fest (Metalmeria)… we’ll been playing at the Pounding Metal Festival in Madrid alongside bands like, among others, Hirax and Metal Inquisitor and then, a great date for us: Leyendas del Rock Festival in Murcia (Spain). We even had the chance to play outside of our home country: Belgium (thanks to Music Minds Memories) and Greece (thanks to our friends from BattleRoar).
I think that’s a pretty good balance for a starting band!, specially considering that Wild Power hit the Spanish stores on November 13th 2009.
Hanna Tsepesh: for those who do not know the band, could tell us a little how it all started?
Jorge Cortés: Steel Horse was formed in Madrid by June 2007. Willy and I just left Dead End Road as it split up and he, Willy, decided to build up a brand new band. A classic Heavy Metal band. So he called me immediately and asked me if I would like to join. “Of course!” I said [laughs]. Then we had the luck to have Ricardo Lázaro (drums) a week later, so we could start the rehearsals by July. Javier Endara (bass guitar), joined by the end of that year, conforming the very first Steel Horse line up. Our first show was on 20th January 2008 at Gruta 77 (Madrid).
Javier left before the recording of Wild Power as Ángel Muñoz came in. Ricardo quit some months later, but both Javier and Ricardo left Steel Horse due to they had other musical projects that demanded 100% of them. They’re still great friends, and now the band line up is closed as follows: Rubén “Burren” Salvador (drums), Ángel “Choco” Muñoz (bass guitar), Willy Gascón (lead guitar) and myself (vocals).
Hanna Tsepesh: What inspired you the most to create the lyrics and what process the band use to create the riffs to comply with the lyrics?
Jorge Cortés: Willy is the main composer of the band. I mean, he creates every single riff and makes the song “preview” without voice line and lyrics. Then, sometimes, I add voice line and lyrics, but we’ve found out that Willy and I make a great team so for the second album you’ll probably see this tandem more often, not just in vocals and lyrics, but also riff ideas I started to share with Willy.
Regarding inspiration… well, we look very deep inside of ourselves to extract things that move us. And in the end you realize that those are universal feelings that affect many people out there. Those things I’m referring to are, for instance, a love that is gone, a treason, an injured pride… but above all, our songs talks about hope even in the darkest times and how to surpass the difficulties that life throws in your way every single day. “If life fucks you and makes you fall… stand up, keep your pride, and fight!”.
Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favorite bands? You have any musician that you admire the most?
Jorge Cortés: I feel I got lots of influences during my life, in metal and out of metal, but my favorite metal bands are our main influences too; Judas Priest, Iron Maiden… but of course, as a singer, I also have others such as Rob Halford, Freddie Mercury, Bruce Dickinson, Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin, Dio…. In fact Dio should be considered an example of attitude against the difficulties in life. Always there, always fighting, always in great shape. Maybe he’s the one I really do admire the most right now.
Hanna Tsepesh: You have another band or some future project?
Jorge Cortés: Not yet. I’ve been contacted for some projects but Steel Horse is currently my only band, and I hope to continue this way for lots of years. I’m very happy with my friends-band mates. Maybe, in the distant future, I will be starting something up by myself, but no plans at all!
Hanna Tsepesh: I would like to know if you had or have any singing lessons or any other preparation?
Jorge Cortés: In fact I received singing lessons for three years, but quit in 2006. My teacher, Andrea Lahora, thought me to control my voice, breathe, acquire skill… and maybe the most important thing: self-confidence. That’s a keyword. Anyway, she showed me the ways of rock ‘n roll, but no-one thought me how to scream and sing Heavy Metal. That’s something I had to figure out by myself by listening to records! And of course practicing!
Hanna Tsepesh: What was the highest and lowest point of your career as a musician?
Jorge Cortés: My lowest point… my first piano concert with 11. I was very, very nervous. My highest point, well Hanna, let me dream about it is yet to come! [laughs]
Hanna Tsepesh: (Laughs) Let’s talk about the “Wild Power” album. Great album, I liked a lot! I think is impossible for a Heavy Metal fan don’t like this “Wild Power”. Congratulations for the entire band!
For people who don’t listen yet can you tell to our readers what they can expect from this album?
Jorge Cortés: Thank you for your words!. Well, Wild Power is energy, a pure energy shock split into nine classic Heavy Metal pieces. Very fresh songs too, not too long not too short, but I think is a record you can listen to one time and another and always go back to the beginning for having another listen. It is also a record that tries to recover the lost spirit of the 80’s in Heavy Metal. For some people that is not very original, but is what we love, our style. And, fortunately, many people think the way you do. So thank you once more.
Hanna Tsepesh: at recording studio, you guys faced with difficulties? If yes, tell which was and how as the whole process?
Jorge Cortés: Fortunately all the recording process went great. M20 Studios had great professionals at that time. We took two weeks for the whole recording of the nine tracks plus another two weeks for mixing and mastering, and that was fairly enough as in order to make this process more agile, we took two things into consideration: lots of rehearsal, once the set for the album was closed, and recording a demo. The best thing we could have done, and we did, is record our EP Raise Your Fist before going for the recording of Wild Power, as it showed up our weak points in the very beginning of the band. It is in fact something highly recommendable for new bands in the search of a first recording: do a demo even if you already did one in the past. That’ll make you ear how you really could sound in a studio, and that’s because working at the studio is not the same as working during a rehearsal; all your defects and possible lack of technique comes out in the studio because, as you’ll probably know, all effects are added once the track is recorded, and sounding raw during the process is tough and stunning the very first time. Frustrating sometimes.
Hanna Tsepesh: How has the response been to the album by the fans and media?
Jorge Cortés: To be honest our expectations were lower, but media rated our album very high! 8-9 averages are great for a debut album! And also we received an “Album Of The Year” award in an Spanish webzine! We are thankful.
Regarding fans, lets call them friends better, we are proud to see how they are coming in growing numbers to our gigs. Bit by bit, but they do. And we are also proud to had our first “sold out” this last weekend in Santiago de Compostela (Spain)!
Hanna Tsepesh: If one of our readers wants to buy your album, what they can do?
Jorge Cortés: We currently do have a distribution agreement with Avispa for Spain and Andorra at local retailers, though we are selling worldwide through our official e-shop at www.steelhorse-heavymetal.com. Thanks to the e-shop we have reached countries such as Portugal, UK, USA, Australia, Japan, Germany, France… etc. And I can also advance that we’ll have other ways of having the chance to buy Wild Power. Quite soon in fact.
Hanna Tsepesh: what is your favorite music in this album and why?
Jorge Cortés: I would say… mmmh, let me think… can I choose two pieces? [laughs]. Well, the most important and favorite tracks for me, and is my personal opinion, are “Run to Survive” and “Burning Soul”.
“Run To Survive” because it reflects my progression and growth as a singer. It has a wide register, and choruses are done in natural voice (not falsetto). I’m very proud of it.
“Burning Soul” because it contains the very first lyrics I’ve ever written for Steel Horse and because it, somehow, talks about a personal state of mind.
Hanna Tsepesh: What is your opinion about the metal in your country (Spain)? It is easy to get some support?
Jorge Cortés: GREAT support!!!! And very devoted too!!! But though I wish Heavy Metal were music for the masses it is not. But the truth is there are many bands and a lot of talent struggling to be heard in Spain and outside.Hanna Tsepesh: Nice too know that! Do you want to send any message for the people who going to read this interview?
Jorge Cortés: Show us if you liked it! Come visit our MySpace to let us know you want us in your town rocking the place! We’ll be glad to share with you a Heavy Metal night everywhere in the world if possible!
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks o much for your answers and time. THE GATES OF METAL wishes the entire band a big success and a great 2010! Hope to see you guys very soon in here…
Jorge Cortés: Thanks to you Hanna and all THE GATES OF METAL readers. Keep on metal!
Hanna Tsepesh: You are very welcome! thank you and all the best...
By: Hanna Tsepesh
To listen to some STEEL HORSE music’s and for future information’s go at: